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Alyx

Uniform Identification 1918 Please

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Alyx

Hello

I would be most grateful for help identifying the uniform of an unknown gentleman from a family photo I have inherited, dated 1918,  but I cannot work out how to insert or attach the photo - it says I can only insert an image from URL - but my photo isn't online ?

Could anyone advise me how to do it ?

Many thanks Alison

 

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Michelle Young

Welcome to the forum. Click to chose files and you get the options, as per my screen shot.

Michelle 

 

IMG_1921.PNG

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Alyx

Thanks Michelle !

I would be very grateful if anyone could tell me anything about the soldier in this photo.

I inherited the photo from my late Grandmother but do not know who it could be and I thought if I could tell what uniform or badges he was wearing, this might help me narrow down the possibilities.

The family names include Wilkins, Chittle, Rollingson and Robinson but the card just says it is from "Uncle" and is dated November 1918.

I wondered what the strange "flaps" are on both his sleeves ?

I have a similar photo signed "Auntie" - dated December 1918 and wondered if maybe they were intended to be sent at Christmas similar to cards which I have seen from other relatives.

Any insight would be wonderful !

Much appreciated Ali

Unknown Soldier in Uniform November 1918.jpg

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

He is a rather elderly subaltern (Lieutenant) of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) wearing WW1 era service dress with cuff rank.  His age and medal ribbons suggest that he was an officer commissioned from the ranks as an “Honorary Lieutenant and Quartermaster.”  Quartermasters were the logistics officers for their battalions and responsible to the commanding officer for the internal supply and accounting of ammunition, water, rations, clothing and unit equipment. Unfortunately the photo is too blurred for me to make out his medal ribbons.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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daggers

Surely ‘Honorary’, however honourable!

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Sepoy

It is not very clear, due to the angle of the photograph, but the medal ribbons are possibly the Queen's South Africa Medal; King's South Africa Medal and 1911 Coronation Medal (or 1911 Delhi Durbar medal). These indicate he had previously seen active service during the Anglo Boer War 1899 - 1902 and was still serving when King George V was crowned.

Sepoy

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FROGSMILE
26 minutes ago, daggers said:

Surely ‘Honorary’, however honourable!


Yes daggers, good spot, I mistyped that. I will amend.

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Alyx
Posted (edited)

Thanks SO much for all the information ! That's really interesting.

I will try to see if I can find anyone with our likely family surnames in the Boer War records as well as WW1.

If we think he might perhaps have been in his 50's by 1918, I will think about people born from the 1860's to 1880's.

 

I know this is much later than the 1st WW but I also have some letters from my Grandma from her cousin Major John Reynold sent in May 1946 and October 1947.

The addresses he is sending from just seem to be a long list of abbreviations and are a complete mystery to me !

Does either of these sequences mean anything to you by any chance ?

 

Major J C Reynolds I.E.M.E. MG/ME 13 (could be MC 13 - the writing is hard to read) GHQ (1) A.P.O. New Delhi (4th May 1946)

and 504 Command W/Shops Bannu N.W.F.P Pakistan (28th Oct 1947)

 

It sounds as if he was there in a pivotal time in the history of the region approaching partition and it would be interesting to know what he might have been doing there ?

Many thanks Ali

Edited by Alyx
typo

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Pat Atkins

I suspect the thread has strayed off-topic and will be locked, Ali; however, I suggest you try the WW2Talk forum for Major Reynolds.

 

Cheers, Pat

 

PS IEME = Indian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers?

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Alyx

Hi Pat So sorry for the etiquette faux pas - I was just so excited to find such knowledgeable folk !

Thanks Ali 

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

IEME is Indian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, which was the Indian Army equivalent of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers formed in 1942.  Because of concurrent mechanisation of units the IEME had a close relationship with IEME right from the outset.

A460F08B-DE9A-4E05-93F3-EEAD1B6B5B2A.jpeg

F2F7A489-B594-44CF-8EC5-B479D57A507A.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Alyx

Thanks so much - the design on the badges matches that printed on the letterhead of one of the letters !

So appreciative of your kind help, I know where to start looking now !

Ali

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Alyx said:

Thanks so much - the design on the badges matches that printed on the letterhead of one of the letters !

So appreciative of your kind help, I know where to start looking now !

Ali


I’m glad to help.  The IEME responsibility was to maintain, recover, and repair armoured fighting vehicles, guns and motor transport vehicles in the field.

 

“Command workshops” is a typical title for formation level REME and IEME units.

 

APO stands for Army Post Office and was the organisation used to deliver to and dispatch mail from military personnel on active duty in all theatres of operations.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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IPT

North West Frontier Province

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, IPT said:

North West Frontier Province


Indeed, up around the Durand line border between Afghanistan and the then India (now Pakistan).  Hence the mention of Bannu, a famous frontier station.  NWFP was considered to be the nursery training school of the British Army officer between the wars.  The place where he cut his teeth and learned his trade.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Alyx

Many thanks - off to try a search now !

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Steven Broomfield

Bannu is the scene of Herbert Edwardes' splendid A Year on the Punjab Frontier (published 1851), about his experiences as the single-handed commander of the region in the interim between the First and Second Sikh Wars. Wonderful read. (Irrelevant, really, to this thread, but adds some colour).

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Alyx said:

Many thanks - off to try a search now !


Look his name up here, Alison: https://www.unithistories.com/officers/IndianArmy_officers_A01.html

 

20 minutes ago, Steven Broomfield said:

Bannu is the scene of Herbert Edwardes' splendid A Year on the Punjab Frontier (published 1851), about his experiences as the single-handed commander of the region in the interim between the First and Second Sikh Wars. Wonderful read. (Irrelevant, really, to this thread, but adds some colour).


It was a very famous station due to the constant frontier wars thereabouts.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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RNCVR
4 hours ago, Sepoy said:

It is not very clear, due to the angle of the photograph, but the medal ribbons are possibly the Queen's South Africa Medal; King's South Africa Medal and 1911 Coronation Medal (or 1911 Delhi Durbar medal). These indicate he had previously seen active service during the Anglo Boer War 1899 - 1902 and was still serving when King George V was crowned.

Sepoy

 

That is a very nice RPPC  Ali.  He looks very distinguished!

Thanks for posting! be great to be able to ID him.

 

I tend to agree with Sepoy on his medal ribbons, altho the last ribbon might by the Army LS - the solid red ribbon of Victoria or Edward VII time.

 

Best ....

Bryan

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Alyx

Hello - I just wanted to let you know that, thanks to your kind help with insight and information, I think I have identified my mystery soldier !

 

Piecing together all the info I have, I believe he is Edward Charles Mockford, who married my grandmothers Aunt - hence the photos having Uncle and Aunt on them.

His father David was a Blacksmith in Findon, Sussex and he seems to have learnt his trade with his Dad then taken it into the Army.

 

He joined the Communication and Transport Corps at Portsmouth on 18th November 1885.

On his records are various blacksmith training records - like "cold shoeing" - there are also some things about education - I can't read them but have attached in case it make more sense to you ?

I have also attached the Statement of Services - some is hard to read but it mentions Staff Sgt Farrier. So the blacksmith link goes on here.

What is a Staff Sgt ? Wouldn't every sergeant have staff working for him ?

 

I have tracked Edward with his family in the various censuses and he moved about - including Gramby Barracks in Devonport and Dover. 

Your eagle-eyes spotted that he may have been in the Boer War - and yes he served in South Africa from 30th Sept 1899 to 6th June 1902.

In 1906 he went to Bermuda - I think there were British troops stationed there ?

 

He seems to have left in 1906 - there are records from Chelsea Pensioners database but I don't have 3Fold membership to access them.

However, he must have like Bermuda as there are records of him on a ship from Bermuda to New York in Sept 1912 giving his family address as Prospect, Bermuda.

 

His son Edward Henry Mockford - who must have grown up in army quarters looking at the census info - then joined the Army Service Corps in 1905 (was this a new name for the C&T Corps ??) and served through the First World War seeing action in France but survived to live until 1970.

 

From the picture we have of him in 1918 you have identified he was then in the Royal Fusiliers - would he have volunteered to go back into the Army ? Or were they called up ?

Wouldn't he have gone back to his old corps ? I wondered why the Royal Fusiliers ? I see a little bomb on their cap badge and a lot of my ancestors were based in Woolwich where the Arsenal was - presumably making bombs ! - were there any connection of the two (or am I putting 2 & 2 together to make 5 !)

Would there be records of Edward senior for WW1 - his army papers I have seem to stop in 1906 ?

 

A later photo of Edward with his adult children confirms his identity from the photo too.

Once again - thanks so much - I couldn't have solved the mystery without your heklp & I've had great fun investigating it all !

Kind regards Alyx

 

Edward Charles Mockford husband of Catherine Rollingson - Amry Service Papers 1.jpg

Edward Charles Mockford husband of Catherine Rollingson - Amry Service Papers 2.jpg

Edward Charles Mockford husband of Catherine Rollingson - Amry Service Papers 3.jpg

Edward Charles Mockford husband of Catherine Rollingson - Amry Service Papers 4.jpg

Edward Charles Mockford husband of Catherine Rollingson - Amry Service Papers 5.jpg

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

You have done an excellent job of deciphering his military record.  The C&T relates to the Commissariat and Transport Corps (C&TC), who were lineal forebears of the second version of the Army Service Corps.  
 

In essence the C&TC were responsible for supply and transport of the stores necessary to wage war, including ammunition, rations, water and clothing, as well as the wagons and horses necessary to get them forward from storage depots in the rear.  To do this in a time before motor cars the horse and wagon were preeminent and so artisan tradesmen like farriers and wheelwrights were an important part of the corps.

 

As a soldier-artisan learned and progressed in his trade, then in a military environment he was generally promoted, some faster than others, but often in a specialist trade environment the promotion was by time. After time spent as a junior non-commissioned officer (grades of corporal) he would eventually reach the upper echelon of more senior men and these were the staff sergeants.  From 1881 the very top level of staff sergeants, known as sergeants major, were elevated to a new group known collectively as warrant officers.  It seems that your forebear was in the level one down from warrant officer, as Staff Sergeant Farrier.  
 

It was in 1888 that the CTC were merged with two associated organisations to create a unified and all ranks Army Service Corps (ASC), a corps which your ancestors son also joined subsequently.  The uniform was dark blue with white piping trim.


As you have surmised, Bermuda was indeed an overseas colonial possession of the British Empire and formed a strategically important naval base for the Royal Navy in the sub-tropical western part of the North Atlantic.  Nelson’s ships were outfitted and repaired there at various times in the Napoleonic era and a ring of forts defended the islands whose guns were the responsibility of the Royal Artillery and suppling them the C&TC.  You can read about this here:  http://www.bermuda-online.org/britarmy.htm


Bermuda was located along the line of passage to South Africa and during the Boer War it became an import link along the lines of communication, even to the extent that it was used as a convenient place to hold Boer Prisoners of War and served camps were set up on various islands within the archipelago.

 

To give you an idea of working environment I enclose a circa WW1 photo of a Staff Sergeant Farrier with his team of farriers.  His badge of rank and appointment was 3-stripes, with horse shoe over, surmounted by a crown.

 

92BDBB8E-45E1-4290-8177-0B85EBCFDAEC.jpeg

B57A38D7-EEE5-44BD-B7F0-506CBB03FF50.jpeg

D693DB4C-CFA3-4BF7-A7E2-BBBE3EEB0EC2.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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FROGSMILE
34 minutes ago, Madmeg said:

I was hoping to find a pension record at TNA  but this is the best I could find- it redirects to misfiled pensions at FMP- maybe he is in there somewhere? .https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C610040

 


I don’t know Madmeg, I suspect that from here we will need one of the forum’s excellent genealogical detectives.

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Madmeg
Posted (edited)

There's a WW1 medal card for the son. Not finding Edward Charles on TNA, if he was serving in 1918 he would surely have been eligible for one of pip squeak and wilfred at least? Mind you TNA issn;t a friendly search so if his surname has been mispelled then I might not be finding him.

Ancestry has a couple of EC Mockford on the medal rolls.

 

There is however, a record and a medal card for a JOSEPH Mockford- of the London Regiment, Lance Sarjeant and Second Lt, records for him as 2nd Lt 1916 -19. Which lines up a bit regarding the ranks? but there is the name- wouldn't be the first time someone has altered that to jin up young/old etc? But id the London Regiment the same as the Fusiliers?    

Nope I found joseph- deceased 1917.

 

Edited by Madmeg

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Madmeg

-Bingo?

find my past -the next listing on the page is for his CTC record with the same regt number and DoB- PoB for the older record is Sussex not Middlesex.

Edward Charles
 
Mockford
 
1862
 
6477
 
Tank Corps
 
Middlesex
 
Wo 363 - First World War Service Records 'Burnt Documents'

 

Hoping someone can find out some more details and post them- I'm not a subscriber.

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